When deciding to veer in my career, I saw a path, took it and with confidence met with my now boss Jackie, owner of Plan A Timmins & Plan A Peterborough. I knew I could learn to do the job, learn new skills, and grow professionally.
Going into work the first day was nerve-wracking! Prior to my first shift, I was told about pay, duties, who I was replacing and what was expected of me. I was just not sure about the office culture, and with such a small office, I was taking a huge chance. The fear of someone not being able to work with me or the other way around really scared me, but I knew it was a chance I wanted to take. Culture was not even on the list of pros and cons of taking this leap of faith. It was something that I just thought that once employed, you get to see how the culture is and how it might affect you.
I recently attended the Leadership Chats event held by the Peterborough Chamber and they spoke about the importance of office culture and the impact it has on employees. The following week, we were interviewing for an office position and almost every single candidate asked about our office culture. It got me thinking, what is our office culture? I was not sure what to answer because it was never something I personally focused on. Here are a few things we work hard to provide:
We really value our partners! From the start I was told by our leader that “it is not about the money but about the relationship with our partners.” We never take advantage of our homes’ budgets and make sure to save the homes money so we can assist them longer. Whenever our partners really need our assistance, they can rest assured they will have our help. Our staff become a guest in their homes, and by being able to assist our partners, the residents are really getting the best care. We are not only there to help find staff that will care for the residents, but we are also there to support the home during this staffing shortage crisis across Ontario. The income of the business is never our primary focus but instead, we focus on our achievements week by week and search for creative ways to help our partners moving forward. At the end of the day, this approach makes me more motivated and feel part of a bigger movement than if the focus was just on the financial aspect.
We believe that honesty and communication are extremely important. Any concerns we have, we speak up and they are always made a priority. We feel supported by one another, and it really creates an environment that is open to all suggestions and creativity. Positivity is truly the focus, and because of that I enjoy entering the office every day being surrounded by people that truly believe in our vision. When any concerns are brought up, our goal is to find a solution instead of focusing on what was done wrong. We divide the tasks fairly by who thrives more in that specific role or task to really maximize as a team and achieve more goals.
Employee behavior is extremely important to us and has always been Jackie’s first priority. Professionalism is not negotiable and is always our top priority when working in our LTC homes. Office staff are no exception — we never lose sight of our values, beliefs and we make positive employee behavior our priority.
I really enjoy being part of this team and always thought it was because of who I work with at the office. I have learned that it was not only because of the office staff I work with but because of the culture that our leader and my coworkers have developed. The culture has significantly changed how I work and I strive to be part of the solution of helping to provide quality care to our seniors.
~ Karine Giroux, Recuriter, Plan A Timmins